First Solar Roadways Set to Roll Out on Famous Route 66
After years of experiments, the first “solar panel roadways” are about to hit the, um, road, an innovation that could generate a substantial amount of energy and drastically reduce the country’s need for fossil fuels. According to the Kansas City Star, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) revealed it plans to test out street pavers that will install energy-generating photovoltaic panels along the famous Route 66 highway. The energy-generating panels were invented by Scott and Julie Brusaw of Solar Roadways, who raised $2.2 million for the innovation through crowdfunding.
The MoDOT is set to launch their own crowdfunding campaign to help support the installation, Curbed.com reported. The Brusaws believe the roads can generate more energy than we consume – if enough panels are installed – and the MoDOT seems ready to put that claim to the test. “If their version of the future is realistic, if we can make that happen, then roadways can begin paying for themselves,” said Tom Blair, leader of the MoDOT’s Road to Tomorrow initiative. The department is planning to install the panels at the Route 66 Welcome Center in Conway, Mo., by the end of the 2016.
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